Painful Installation Moments and Laser Solutions



Shit. Ow.

This happens all the time.

Like many people who were born with the curse of imperfect eyesight, I wear contact lenses and enjoy their practicality while at the same time suffering through the unique burdens they bring to my life.

For example, situations that I like to call ‘Painful Installation Moments.’

From time to time, for no apparent reason, it will hurt like hell to put your contact in your eye.

Every other day of the week it will be fine and you don’t even notice that they are there, but because of a shift in weather or dehydration or an eyelash that’s out of place or the relative positions of Neptune and Venus on that particular day it’s torturous to go through the same motions you perform most days without incident.

And really, is there a worse kind of torture than EYE torture?

Actually, yes. There is.

Routines in general can become painful over time, and just because you don’t notice them MOST of the time doesn’t mean that you won’t become aware of their presence once or twice a month and feel like someone is taking an icepick to your retina.

These routines are helpful, sure, but are they the only solution to the problems they are meant to solve? It seems to me that if something is causing you enough discomfort to be noticeable – even if only irregularly – it’s worth looking into alternatives.

In the case of my contacts, I’ve been doing research into different kinds of laser eye surgery for quite a while, and I’m waiting for the right moment to pull the trigger (when I’ll be in a country with cheap but effective services, will have some time to stick around and do a followup exam, etc). In the meantime I’m doing my best to stack the deck so that right moment will come to pass sooner rather than later (I AM in Asia, one of the better places to get this kind of work done, so we’ll see if I can make it happen this year).

Think about this the next time you find yourself chafing under the burden of routine. If you system is imperfect, why not investigate other solutions?

The worst that can happen is that you’ll find there are risks involved with the alternatives (getting laser eye surgery, for example, has many risks involved) and you’ll have one more decision to make.

But that decision could mean the difference between a lifetime of eye torture and the possibility of waking up in the morning being able to see. Taking responsibility for your own destiny leads to a better outcome, while just riding the winds of chance will seldom lead to an optimal end result.

Always choose carefully between your options, but before you can do that you’ll have to make sure that you have options to choose from.


  1. I did laser surgery 5 years ago – best decision I’ve ever made in my life. It was scary (I kept consoling myself that if I went blind, at least I could get a dog) but absolutely worth it. Hope you find the right moment that makes sense for you!

  2. Great post :) So true. I think most of people suffer from the pain of having contacts but they will never make anything about it and will just try to get used to. They will never see in the morning. I hope i wont stay one of them for too long…Thanks again!

  3. Wow, timely post for me. I had lasik eye surgery last Wednesday. I’m in New Orleans and it cost $2200 total (that was for the high-end custom treatment). The whole process from first consultation to the actual surgery can take as little as a month (plus one follow-up appointment a few weeks after), and it was a lot easier than I thought. I didn’t even have to miss a day of work.

    I now have 20/20 vision and never have to worry about contact lenses or glasses again. Tis nice.

  4. Hey
    I was thinking of getting my eyes done as well… what about scuba diving is that still a problem after laser surgery… What about loss of night vision… the last time I checked that was my two big scares.. but that was years ago…

  5. I have been thinking about my routines just this morning. A head cold and slight dizzyness have made me grumpy for the day. I’m tired of having to live my life by other peoples’ schedules. On a day when the best thing would be to laze around the house while taking lots of cold medicine, I have to head in to school for a class that I dread and then off to work for the evening. Blech.

    As for the eyes… I just wear glasses. While I miss wearing sunglasses, the spectacles themselves don’t bother me too much. One of these days, however, I’ll look into the surgery.

  6. do it. i did the surgery about 5 years ago in chicago. i had 20/15 vision the next day and 20/10 vision by the end of the week. it takes but 2 weeks to fully recover. i actually went out the next night. i rode my bike to the appt the next day. its damn easy.

  7. I got laser eye surgery a year ago and then I went on a three and a half month trip through 18 countries I could finally take only carry on! No solution needed. My only regret was not doing it four years earlier when my eyes had become allergic to my contacts. I remember a trip to Morocco where I tried to watch the sunrise over the desert through tears of pain from dry eyes, contacts and a grain of sand. I spent over a thousand dollars, and lots of frustration, on prescription glasses and sunglasses when the entire procedure cost me $1500. I have two years of photos of me wearing glasses and looking annoyed as they fogged up outdoors in the rain climate I live in. I say go for it!

  8. I can definitely relate to the eye, been considering laser eye surgery eventually.

    Routines can definitely be boring, not sure if I’d consider them painful though.

  9. “Routines in general can become painful over time, and just because you don’t notice them MOST of the time doesn’t mean that you won’t become aware of their presence once or twice a month and feel like someone is taking an icepick to your retina.”

    I could say the same also about our body. It never takes my attention until I get hurt in any way or become ill. Only then I realize how precious my body is when everything wkorks perfectly. People actually don’t appreciate things they have till the moment something is wrong.

  10. Here’s one thing I found out about laser eye surgery which most providers won’t mention, nor will many even know about:
    As they cut up a flap in you cornea, the flap will need to heal.

    However, your cornea only ever heals to about 2% of the integrity/strength it had before the flap was cut. In practice this means that you will have to treat your eyes with greater care than ever, because any contact with foreign objects (kid poking you, dog jumping at you, tree branch hitting you) will carry an overwhelming risk of causing a corneal flap dislocation, which is a very serious thing that endangers your vision permanently if it happens in such an uncontrolled manner.

    Personally, I was signed up for laser eye surgery a few years ago, but pulled out of it at the last minute when I found this out.
    I’d rather take the inconvenience of contacts than risking my eyesight – especially today when longwear contacts and very oxygen permeable contacts are so easily available.

  11. Funny how this happens. I have my consult appointment in three hours. Considering how absolutely atrocious my eyesight is, I think it will be life changing.

    • Turns out I am a candidate for PRK which doesn’t do the flap cutting of lasik but is performed right on the surface of the cornea. It takes a little longer to heal but hey, a couple of years down the road will it matter? Might be something to look into.

  12. Funny how this happens. I have my consult appointment in three hours. Considering how absolutely atrocious my eyesight is, I think it will be life changing.

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  15. You can buy cheap contact lenses to get stable vision, without sacrificing your appearance, as with normal eyeglasses. Contact lenses protect your eyes, while improving your eyesight. Usually the Internet & online store is the right place to buy cheap and cost effective contact lens as they maintain a large stock.

  16. Isn’t it time? My wife did the laser thing a few years ago here in Iceland and is very happy with the result.

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